The European Union will provide €10m to develop slum areas in Greater Cairo and is accepting applications from civic associations to obtain funding, according to EU Ambassador in Egypt James Moran.
Moran mentioned that coordination between the EU and Egypt will be continuous in order to develop slum areas and enhance worker efficiency.
The EU recently agreed to provide a grant valued at €50m to train workers in collaboration with the Social Development Fund. The project will enhance their competitiveness in the labour market, Moran said.
The grant is aimed at improving health and education services for approximately 2 million individuals out of the total 12 million living in these areas, said Moran.
The programme has offered participatory development programmes in Egypt for 10 years through cooperation with local administrations and civil society organisations.
The EU intends to sign an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide support for developing areas in Fayoum and Marsa Matrouh in the near future, according to Moran.
“We have conducted a research study of four areas in Cairo and Giza last year in order to understand residents’ needs’” said Gunther Wehenpohl, coordinator of participatory development programmes in urban areas.
He stated that the EU began assessing the needs of five other areas in Cairo and Qaliubiya in order to improve living conditions in Greater Cairo.
Funding for the first phase of the development is valued at €1.5m.
EU funding that will be used to develop slum areas in Egypt is valued at €40m, in addition to €6m from the German government, €3.7m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The project will be implemented over eight years from 2010-2018, he added.
Wehenpohl added that each civic organization will obtain funding between € 30,000 and € 300,000 and that follow-up will take place during implementation.
Total foreign funding for civil organizations for the 2013/2014 fiscal year amounted to EGP 750m, according to the Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly.
The Ministry of Social Solidarity intends to complete a database of civic organisations before the end of the year which will include 40 groups, Waly said.
“There are specific messages I would like to convey during this conference, namely that the Egyptian government intends to complete the civic organisations law as soon as possible,” she said.
Waly added that poverty-stricken areas remain an issue in Egypt despite ongoing work by the government aimed at development. She added that civil organisations will play a significant role in supporting the government in achieving these goals in the near future.
Waly feels that the routine involved in civil organisation work must be addressed, which will help combat slums and eliminate the difficult living conditions that slum dwellers face.